(sorry, no photos were allowed at this one, but if you want to check it out for yourself, go here: http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/brushinfo.shtm).
Another highpoint was a room within an exhibition of Hip Hop portraiture and art at the National Portrait Gallery. The room featured installations by Hip Hop artists along with a stunning poem written by Nikki Giovanni. The poem was written on the wall, but had also been recorded by the poet to play as a kind of continuous narration. It was powerful and I found it so moving that I came back to the room several times to hear it again. Before leaving the museum, I felt compelled to copy it down. You'll find it in its entirety in the next post.
I spent the week falling in love again with art and remembering why I had long ago decided to become an artist: I felt the flush of that initial impetus to create beauty; to make things that have the power to move others; to communicate a raw and personal vision. I may never achieve the heights of the works I saw in DC, but I remember now that the goal is a worthy one.